Australian punk-rockers just “Don’t Stop”

Australian punk-rockers just

Dreamsno matter how out of reach they seemcan come true with persistence and hard work.

For Australian band 5 Seconds of Summer (or 5SOS), just that has happened. The band, of the pop-rock genre with pop-punk influences, was formed in Sydney in 2011 and consists of Luke Hemmings (lead vocals, guitar), Michael Clifford (guitar, vocals), Calum Hood (bass guitar, vocals) and Ashton Irwin (drums, vocals). 5SOS started out as a cover band, posting videos to YouTube just for fun. Hood introduced the idea of songwriting and the other lads jumped onboard. The band slowly gained a small fanbase until Louis Tomlinson of One Direction noticed their talent and invited them to open for them on the Take Me Home Tour. The Aussie band had some serious thinking to do, and their decision to take up the offer has had mixed results.

While touring with One Direction has no doubt been a major factor in their rise to fame, it is also one of the reasons they have been cursed with the title of “boy band” in popular culture. 5SOS may consist of all male talent and they do have really fancy hair, but they show much more resemblance to bands like All Time Low than their tourmates. The boys all play their own music and write their own material. 5SOS doesn’t deny or accept the title of boy band, but mostly just laugh it off.

5SOS’s covers of songs by bands such as Green Day and Blink 182 were not greeted with enthusiasm by fans of the older pop-punk genre, which didn’t surprise me in the slightest. Die-hard fans always seem to be overly-critical of newer bands. Personally, I don’t understand this. 5SOS is the first band in quite a while to come onto the scene with a guitar-driven punk feel. 5SOS are inspired by the older bands and got their sound by listening to and covering that music when they first formed. The band isn’t trying to be perfect or sound like bands they cover, for that would not add anything to punk culture. Fans of pop-punk shouldn’t hate on the new band but accept what they are trying to doextend the life of classic punk sound but with a modern twist.

This sound is highlighted in their self-titled debut album. I highly anticipated the release on July 22 of this year, and I was not disappointed. The pre-released single “She Looks so Perfect” is one of those songs that is pumped through every radio station, meaning that almost every time I got in my car or walked into a mainstream fashion store, I was greeted with the catchy tune. What I find impressive is that even with the heightened exposure, I’m still not tired of the song; I don’t ever skip when it comes on my shuffle. But the real victory of the track is the fact it has topped the charts in America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia.

Other standouts on the album are “Don’t Stop,” the full-of-energy crowd-pumping beat; “Amnesia,” the one that makes every fangirl cry; “Greenlight,” the cheeky little tune with guitar riffs that will get anyone head-banging in seconds and my personal favorite, “Long Way Home,” co-written with All Time Low member, Alex Gaskarth.

Music should always be the sole reason someone would like a band, but it doesn’t hurt if the people in them are actually likeable. The 5SOS boys are incredibly fun-loving and never take themselves too seriously. From the endless schemes portrayed on the band’s Keek to the ever-changing color of Clifford’s hairI believe it’s a fiery red at the momentyou get a sense that these boys are just having a blast doing what they’ve always wanted to do. They seem very down-to-earth considering all the positive (especially female) attention they’ve gotten recently and don’t seem that much different than myself and the people around me.

This goes to show that ordinary, everyday people can and will achieve their dreams as long as they work hard and stay true to who they are.